I wrote and posted this on my Facebook wall yesterday:
[Tweet “You know, I love a gutsy woman. A dangerous woman! A woman that, despite the possibility that she will be misunderstood, not liked or accepted, called “unladylike”, or possibly piss people off, speaks her own experience anyway.”] I’m not talking about rude folks with no boundaries…no, I don’t have any tolerance for that. I’m talking about a woman that stands in her own power with grace, and tells it like it is. Full of courage and heart, even if her knees are knocking. Woman, you have my allegiance…Sign me UP.”
I have been surprised at the response. Seems that I’ve said something that some folks really resonate with. But I really wrote it to encourage myself!
Let me explain. I’m in the process of writing my book about my journey to find home in my heart and heal ancestral patterns of abuse and dysfunction so that our children and those beyond them can be freer to create lives in balance. It is a very challenging book to write because I have to tell my own life story; as the voice that this tale comes through, it is important that I come clean and that the reader knows the lenses that I perceive the world through.
But, as I write in my chair, I feel the ghosts of those who want me to stay silent standing at my shoulders. I will not give them voice here by sharing the things the mean things they say. But I can tell you that the fear of breaking the code and sharing the shameful secrets in my family of origin is enough to give me pause. Hell, it’s enough to make my whole body shake with tremors and the sensation of a giant angry hand closing around my throat.
It is an age-old problem for people who grow up in abusive families to overcome the pattern of hiding the truth, and to recognize and shine light on what is broken in the family. But it takes an extraordinary act of courage to stand up and accept the ire that inevitably comes when we break rank and speak the family pain. And I have to negotiate with my internalized “family secret keeper”, the little girl who wanted to be loved and accepted for who she was, but who had to learn to be someone else in order to survive into adulthood.
And so, as I’m writing, the horror of my experience is spelled out in detail, in black and white. No longer in the dark recesses of my mind, or circling back through the laundry machine of psycho-therapy, but out in the world for all to see. And when I have the kind souls who are holding me while I undertake this sacred task read what I’ve written, I hear their stunned response, and it makes it real. Dear God. I lived through this, and here I am sharing my victorious return to my spirit. I am a warrior woman.
I have every right to speak my truth, to share my experience, to reveal what would have killed a weaker spirit, to roar my emergence from the dark arms of death in my biological family, and to encourage others to do the same. I write this book on behalf of that little girl, and on behalf of all women who are shushed, who people wish would “just be quiet”, who choose to speak their truth rather than die a silent death. The woman that I wrote about in that Facebook post is ME.
As I continue to gather up my courage and forge ahead to finish this book, I’m going to periodically look at that post in order to remind myself of the leader I’ve become in my own life. I was inspired by those who’d found their power and their voice in earlier years, but now I am inspiring myself.
How do you need to speak up in YOUR life? What stories need to be told by YOU? Please share!!!
See the related post, “V” is for VOICE